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Pelican colony in Mud Islands, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

Pelican colony in Mud Islands, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

3 months ago from Parks Victoria

Partnership breathes new life into Mud Islands

Friday 27 June, 2014

Parks Victoria and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority are working together to protect saltmarsh habitats in and around Port Phillip as part of a $1.29m Australian Government program over five years to undertake revegetation and pest plant and animal control in areas that are critical for endangered species such as the Orange-bellied Parrot.

One of the project sites is Mud Islands in Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, six kilometres north-east of Portsea. Mud Islands is a group of three islands surrounding a shallow tidal lagoon in Port Phillip.

“Mud Islands supports an extensive saltmarsh community and the mud itself is home to a range of invertebrates including worms and crabs. These invertebrates are an important food source for migratory bird species and the islands are recognised as an internationally significant Ramsar site,” said Parks Victoria Ranger Toby Stringer.

The works on Mud Island will include removing African Box Thorn, Galenia, Tree Mallow and Fat Hen, both manually and with herbicide.

“The works will reduce weed invasion and help strengthen the rare saltmarsh habitats which provide food and shelter for a number of native species, including the critically endangered orange bellied parrot,”

Mud Islands posed additional access challenges for contractors with specific considerations needed for transporting staff, equipment, chemicals and fuel to and from the islands.

“The logistics of completing works on Mud Islands are quite complicated. You can't just pull the boat up on the island because it's too shallow and muddy. Everything needs to be carried in from the boat through the water,”

“It's hard work but the benefits of the project are definitely worth it when you consider the impact it has on protecting the wildlife and their habitat.”

For more information about Mud Islands and Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park call 13 1963.

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